These are the voices of those in the midst of the agony of eating disorders. In this new book, Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser vividly documents the painful struggle of those confronting eating disorders. He provides readers with an inside look at this disease from the unique perspective of a rabbi called upon to counsel those in the throes of eating disorders.
Starving To Live features:
- An anorexic girl's diary of growing up, becoming a teenager, going away to camp and then learning in a Jerusalem seminary -- all the while recounting in excruciating detail her continual struggle -- and the struggle of the girls around her -- with anorexia. Her diary closes with a hopeful note about recovery.
- Side by side with this eye-opening diary are insightful comments brought down by Rabbi Goldwasser from the Torah, from Chazal and from Gedolim throughout the centuries.
- Tips on how parents can help prevent eating disorders in their own children.
- Specific symptoms of anorexia and bulimia and how to act around someone experiencing an eating disorder.
- A discussion of the causes of eating disorders, including the pressure to succeed, the pressure to be thin in order to find a good shidduch and the overemphasis, in many homes, on food.
- Rabbi Goldwasser movingly recounts the shame that hinders all too many people from reaching out and getting the help they so desperately need. Too many people he has encountered have no place to turn and remain tormented with this disease.
- A fascinating essay on weight loss in halacha based on responsa by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.
- Advice on healthy eating from Maimonides.
- A heartrending list of questions that Rabbi Goldwasser has been asked by people with eating disorders who went to him for counseling. Some of the more terrifying questions include: If one purges after a meal, is one still obligated to recite Birchas Hamazon (Grace after Meals)? Or, if one is receiving nutrition intravenously because of anorexia, is a bracha (blessing) still necessary?
- Inspirational Chassidic stories.
However, even though Starving to Live documents a terrifying disease, this book also contains much hope and faith, as it shows that many people recover from this disease and go on to lead full, happy lives.